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South African Parliament Irons Out Wrinkles In Money Laundering Bill

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

17 August 2001


It was revealed recently that the South African parliament's Finance and Justice Portfolio committees are putting the fininshing touches to a draft anti-money laundering bill which they hope to refer to the National Assembly for the coming session.

The bill seeks to put in place a wide range of anti-money laundering measures, and as the vast majority of South African MPs seem to have accepted the need for reporting of 'suspicious and unusual' transactions in order to keep up with international anti-money laundering standards, it looks set to have a fairly smooth ride.

Under the terms of the legislation, accountable institutions, reporting institutions, motor vehicle dealers, and those dealing in Kruger rands would be obliged to report all transactions over a certain limit, which would be set by the Ministry of Finance. However, the preferred option for Clause 29 of the draft bill will add another sting in the tail for money launderers and tax evaders if agreed, as it would compel the above-mentioned institutions to report all requests for, and enquiries regarding transactions over the approved amount, even if the request was not carried out.

As well as putting in place measures that will coordinate efforts to combat money laundering within South Africa, the Financial Intelligence Centre Bill seeks to establish an institution that will act as a central repository of information for all investigating authorities. The committees hope to complete work on the draft legislation by the end of this week.


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